An episode of the popular 1950's sitcom "The Trouble with Father" called "Pearl Necklace". This is one of the very few episodes of this series to feature a laugh-track. Actually, it's quite well-written.
August 22, 2014
The Trouble With Father, also known as the Stu Erwin Show, was an ABC sitcom that aired for 5 seasons from 1950-1955. The show is an early form of the sort of "bumbling father" genre that is popularized and perfected by shows that came after like "Father Knows Best" and "Leave it to Beaver". This show was somewhat avante garde in that it was shot on film and helped to create a very popular genre.
Since it came before the more popular shows of its form, "Trouble with Father" can certainly seem a bit drier; however, it does hold a very similar structure. The show revolves around the family of Stu, his wife June(who is in fact his real life spouse), and their daughters Joyce and Jackie. As is the case for most 50's sitcoms, Stu works and Joyce takes care of the home. And as is the case for most "bumbling father" sitcoms, the plot lines mostly come from little conflicts that arise in Stu's life that are either birthed from the failure of his goodhearted intentions, or are everyday sorts of problems that he can use his goodhearted intentions(and bumbling ways) to solve.
In this episode, the conflict arises out of Stu and his wife's anniversary of their engagement (Note that this is not even their real wedding anniversary, making this even more of a minor event). His family assumes that Stu will forget the anniversary due to his "bumbly" nature: “is there something on your mind”, his family asks at breakfast. “as a matter of fact there is, I broke a shoelace”
Nevertheless, he remembers the anniversary and decides to buy his wife a synthetic pearl necklace. However, he also picks up a friends real pearl necklace at the store, and his wife mistakes this as her gift. From this small misunderstanding comes the majority of the conflict and comedy of the show. Stu zanily tries to switch the necklaces while avoiding the maid and the house detective. Of course, he comically avoids the trouble, switches out the necklaces, and in the end, his wife tells him that it was the thought that counted, and she wouldn’t have even wanted the real pearls anyways.
*as a side note, there is a laugh track on this episode, which was rare for the time in which it aired, but this was not the case for the majority of the series.
April 18, 2009
One of the last episodes of the series...
This originally aired on April 6, 1955, as the next-to-last episode of the final season (when the series began using a laugh track more often). A "typical" episode, but a funny one!